The Maharashtra government on Thursday reduced Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 3 per litre respectively. 

The Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announced the decision following a cabinet meeting attended by his deputy Devendra Fadnavis. Speaking to presspersons in Mumbai, Shinde said the decision would entail a burden of Rs 6,000 crore on the state exchequer.

Early this month, after toppling the Uddhav Thackeray-led government, Shinde announced that the State government would lower value-added tax on petrol and diesel. 

A few months back, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had requested the States to lower their taxes. The Centre had lowered excise duties on fuels in November last year. 

The Uddhav Thackeray-led government in Maharashtra had refused to lower VAT, saying that the State was not in a position to accept the Prime Minister’s request and instead the Centre should pay pending GST dues to the State. 

Shinde said the government would provide relief to the people by lowering VAT, while Fadnavis said the announcement was part of the BJP and rebel Shiv Sena faction’s agenda to provide relief to the people in the State.  

The two-member State cabinet, comprising Shinde and Fadnavis, also decided on the second phase of a cleanliness campaign in the state, and to continue the Atal Mission For Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation. 

The cabinet also decided that village heads, presidents of municipal councils and nagar panchayats will be directly elected by the voters. Further, farmers will have direct voting rights in the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) elections.